Paul Osterman, a great accompanist and humanist, holds the distinction of being the top commenter on this web site by a huge margin. What I appreciate about Paul’s comments is that he clearly read and understood what had been written, then contributed to the conversation. That’s the kind of person I tried to be on social media, before I decided I wasn’t up to the task.
Artists are communicators…we need to find new ways of sharing, to ease the psychological burdens of the times we find ourselves in.
For my 50th birthday, I bought a bottle of Balvenie Portwood 21 year-old Scotch and sought out the people who’ve been important in my life to offer a toast of thanks. Some weren’t close enough to clink a glass, so I started writing virtual toasts. That’s where this piece came from – the easiest, most pleasurable writing I’ve ever done.
Autumn was the gentlest dog I’ve ever known. She wasn’t particularly smart, although she had an unerring internal timer for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack times. Dog heaven better have peanut butter, or I expect she’ll be coming back.
Weatherford’s political cartoon is a cheap shot that relies on two levels of misinterpretation – first, of Colin Kaepernick’s concerns regarding Nike’s Betsy Ross Flag shoe; second, of Charles Schulz’s own patriotism, which was a recurring subject in the Peanuts strip.
I am absurdly proud of you right now. I think it’s been pretty easy to be your father – to those who say we’re similar, I counter that I was harder to steer.
He awoke in the dark, instantly alert. Curious, he sat up and listened. The pale glow from the bedside clock blinked 3:48 am. The house was still; the neighborhood was quiet except for the rustle and last drips of rain through the trees and on the roof. Nothing else moved, but anticipation sparked the edges of his consciousness. What had called him?
Then down my chimney did clamber
A gentleman quite portly
He saw my dram and asked for one
With manners oh so courtly
The Bible says, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” I spent 48 years not seeing and yet believing. I’m done.
There’s good in most people, wisdom even in a ballsy weasel. My father said shit that I remember every day; his bon mots comprise a not-inconsiderable legacy that I’ve passed on to my own kids over the years.